Updated: Mar 28
It's understood that cover letters are important, simply due to the fact that your competition will be submitting professionally tailored ones. Moreover, it's required for certain roles so it's best to be prepared. We’ve put together a helpful guide to building the ideal cover letter tailored for each job opportunity you apply for. We have created a cover letter template which you can download at the end of this article.
Make sure your cover letter is in PDF Format (use online free PDF Converter from Google)
Keep your Cover Letter to one page, recruiters spend 20 to 30 seconds on each candidate.
Avoid clichés - Each letter should be personal, so avoid clichéd phrases that recruiters have read a thousand times! Don’t just say “I’m a team player”, these buzzwords and phrases won’t make you stand out. Instead, choose an example of when you worked well in a team and explain what happened and what you achieved.
If you can, use numbers or stats to illustrate your points as it’s a nice way to quantify your results and adds to the format of the letter.
The cover letter should be different to your CV – its aimed at expanding upon your CV, not to re-write it.
To begin with, do your research on the company you’re applying for as you will have to mention this in your cover letter. Conducting good research will help tailor your cover letter appropriately.
Researching the role -
Deconstruct the job description into tasks and keyword. Match your skills and experiences to those required and use buzzwords in your cover letter. This helps affirm your relevance to the role from the hiring manager’s perspective.
Researching the company -
Name and Address of the company (check official site)
Who will be receiving the letter i.e. hiring manager name
Company culture and values, competitor research, recent news and future goals (check About Us section)
The following point should be covered in every cover letter:
What interests you in applying for the position
Relevant skills and experiences
How your skills and experiences would be beneficial to the employer.
Requesting to contact you for an interview
Structure Breakdown -
1: Your name and contact details
Insert your name and contact details at the top of your cover letter (including address, email and phone number).
2: Company details, contact name and greeting.
Under your details, you should enter the company’s. This includes the company name and address details. Thereafter, state whom you are addressing and this begins the cover letter with e.g. Dear Mr. John. Check the company website or contact the hiring manager for a name if you can’t find one. If still unable, then address the letter as follows, ‘To whom it may concern’ or ‘Dear Hiring Manager’.
3: Paragraph 1
Identify the position you’re applying for and where it was advertised. Make a reference to the organisation to demonstrate your knowledge, if you know someone that works there, mention their name. Ensure you come across enthusiastic and positive about the company and role.
4: Paragraph 2
Mention your strongest qualifications that match the job requirements. Sell your skills and experiences and how they would meet the need of the employer. This is your opportunity to mention multiple matches off your skill set to the job role, so be sure to state them succinctly. Your writing skills will come into play and will be factored into the hiring manager’s conclusion.
5: Paragraph 3
This section is where you suggest a meeting with the employer by requesting an interview and thanking the employer for their time and consideration. This is the final opportunity to reiterate your interest in the position.
Finally, sign off the letter with the proper salutations, if you know the hiring manager's name use,‘Yours sincerely’, if not, ‘Yours faithfully’ and then followed by your name.
Read your cover letter several time before sending it away, checking for spelling and grammar errors. Ensure the formatting is consistent and easy to read, keep it one page.
Now that you've learnt what to include in your cover letter, here are some tips on the importance of creating a professional CV, click here to find out more.. Use My Expert Writer to help you build an industry-leading cover letter and CV which will place you above your competition.